Previously: “The Woman in the Oven.”
The history behind “The River Country Film” is all true: Walt Disney World’s original water park, River Country opened on June 20, 1976, predating later Disney water parks Typhoon Lagoon by 13 years and Blizzard Beach by nearly two decades. Although it was smaller than Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, it had a certain charm to it; designed to resemble an old time-y swimming hole, it did what Disney does best: Look back with nostalgia at an extravagantly romanticized vision of yesteryear — or perhaps more accurately, a past that never was.
Over time, though, it began to struggle in comparison with the newer water parks; what’s more, attendance for Walt Disney World as a whole dropped off dramatically post-9/11, ands River Country suffered quite a bit as a result. The park ran its regular season throughout the rest of 2001 — but in April of 2002, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the park may not reopen. It stayed closed throughout 2002 and languished for another few years; then, on January 20, 2005, Disney finally confirmed the fact that the park was permanently closed.
What’s so fascinating about the closure, though, is that the park has never subsequently been demolished.
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Previously: The Best Creepy Podcasts on the Internet, January 2016.
It’s been just about a year since the last time we talked about the best creepy podcasts on the internet, so let’s revisit the topic, shall we? The new list of things I’m actively listening to is a tiny bit shorter than the previous one, largely because I’m also still listening to a lot of the ones we talked about previously; alas, there are only so many listening hours in a day, and, well… you do the math. But I’ve added a few new ones to the rotation, as well as found a few others to save until later (that is, when I run out of episodes of all the others I’m currently devouring), so here’s what I’ve had playing in my headphones lately.
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Let’s start the new year off with a blast from the past, shall we? “The Woman in the Oven” — sometimes simply referred to as “The Tape” — is one of the oldest creepypastas around. Its original author remains unknown; indeed, there are several versions of it floating around, so at this point, there’s no telling how many authors it actually has at all. For what it’s worth, the oldest version I’ve found dates back to June of 2008 — two full years before I even learned what creepypasta even was. That’s the version I’ve reproduced here — in full, purely because the tale is so short.
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Previously: “Trick Or Treat.”
Although most creepypastas eventually find their way to — or even originate from — the Creepypasta Wikia, “Misfortune.gb” is one of the few pastas I know of that capitalizes on the medium itself: It’s written in the form of a Wiki page. For that reason, it’s one of the most effective pastas I’ve ever read when it comes to blurring the line between fact and fiction. The last section is where we get a bit of a departure from that particular format… but the departure is where the story’s kick in the gut comes from, too.
And it’s a good one.
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Happy Halloween, Gentle Readers!
You’ve probably already got your plans all set for tonight — even if it’s just staying in and watching a whole bunch of movies, listening to a ton of podcasts, playing a couple of games, or reading a good book — but let’s do a little something to mark the occasion while we’re here: Tell a few classic Halloween urban legends. Or perhaps more accurately, debunk a few classic Halloween urban legends, because honestly, urban legends aren’t interesting unless you’re digging into where they came from and whether or not they’ve got a kernel of truth buried in there somewhere.
In case you still need a few ideas for how to occupy your time tonight, here’s a list of things to do on Halloween — but why not kick it off by taking a look at a few of the tales below? I’m sure you’ve heard them before. So, which of them are actually true? You might be surprised.
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Previously: “The Cardboard House.”
The selection of Halloween-themed creepypasta available is surprising slim. Perhaps it’s to be expected; layering a creepy story on top of a holiday that’s already supposed to be creepy seems a little like overkill, and might even cancel out the creepiness all together. But “Trick or Treat” is quite a successful little story, weaving together well-known traditions, the history of Halloween, and one the most puzzling unsolved mysteries on record. (If you’re keeping up with this season of American Horror Story, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about.)
Like a lot of creepy stories, this one is sort of a cautionary tale. It also brings up a very good point about trick or treating — namely, that it’s actually a little weird we’re so trusting of strangers opening up their doors to a whole bunch of equally strange children on one specific day every year.
Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
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Previously: Spooky Books: Ghosts & Haunted Houses.
Time for the second installment of the Best Spooky Books To Read, October 2016 edition. Whereas last week we focused on ghost stories, this week, we’re broadening it out a little bit: Murders and Serial Killers, Unreliable Narrators, and Short Stories. As was the case with last week’s selections, the books found here aren’t necessarily “horror” in the classic sense of the word; they span many genres, often even defying genre entirely. But what they all have in common is that they’re “October books” for me — the kinds of books that are good no matter when you read them, but which always pack a particular punch at this time of year. (See the introduction to last week’s post for more about what I mean.)
Ready? Let’s go.
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